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Nepal:PM Oli sticks to his seat despite the Court Ruling:

Paper No. 6764                       Dated 14-Mar-2021
by Dr. S.Chandrasekharan
In the Nepalese media there is a very good article on Oli and his antics under the caption “Politics, Olitics and Ethics.”
 
The problem is, the term “ethics” is totally foreign to PM Oli.  When the Full Bench of the Supreme Court gave a clear verdict that Oli’s move to dissolve the Assembly without looking for alternatives as mandated by law as unconstitutional, any Prime Minister in his place, would have resigned immediately and let the political process to move on to choose another person to lead the Government. 
 
But PM Oli, while reconvening the Parliament as directed by the Court within the stipulated time stuck to his seat and dared his opponents within the party to unseat him!  The Dahal-led faction within the Ruling Party did not have the numbers to unseat him on their own and would need the help of the opposition party- the Nepali Congress to carry the motion of no confidence. 
 
The Nepali Congress for reasons of its own was not willing to take the plunge and take the side of either of the two factions within the Ruling Party to go ahead with the no confidence emotion. They want the Ruling Party to split politically and legally before taking the next steps.  This has happened ironically now with another Court decision which we would discuss later.
 
The probem is that the Nepali Congress as such is in no mood to support Dahal and his faction as they had been let down once before by Dahal earlier.   Also within the Nepali Congress, one substantial group led by Ramchandra Paudel does not want to support Oli at all-the result-  a stalemate unless Oli himself moves the House for a confidence motion on his leadership on his own which he will never do.  Some of the close advisers of Oli were heard to remark that Oli will continue as Prime Minister for another year!
 
Amidst all this confusion and complications an unanticipated situation had risen by another  Court verdict that came up a few days ago.  A two Bench Supreme Court dismissed the merger of the former UML and the Maoist Centre in 2018 on the ground that a party of the newly recognised name Nepal Communist Party was already in existence in an outfit led by a former Communist Rishi Khattel. 
 
The Court not only called the merger into a unified entity as the Nepal Communist Party as illegitimate but also ruled that their status remains as before the merger - that is a separate UML and Maoist Centre.  This verdict has thrown many complications.
 
First, what happens to all the appointments made under the unified party of the NCP?  This will include the Provincial legislatures too. Every action of the unified party will perforce become illegitimate!
 
Two- what happens to the elected members of the unified NCP both at the Central and provincial levels who were elected on the NCP ticket?
 
Three, What happens to those who crossed over to one or the other camps of Oli and Dahal.  For example the present Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa was a close aide of Dahal in the Maoist Centre.  He hasnow crossed over to Oli’s camp.  Will his appointment be legitimate when the ground for the merger of th two entities the UML and the Maoist Centre has been declared as illegal by the Court? In another instance Oli himself made funof his colleague Bhim Rawal and asked him as to which party he belongs to as he has moved away, though he was formerly with the UML
 
The way out of this mess could be found in one- the Nepali Congresses on its own withdraw support to the Oli faction in the Parliament or The Party could move a no confidence motion on its own.  Neither may happen.
 
Another safe way would be for the Dahal faction to go  for a review of the verdict in the Supreme Court as the Supreme Court exceeded its brief in declaring the two units the Maoist Centre and the UML as separate units- once the merger was considered to be illegal! It is said that the Dahal faction is planning to do this.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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